French regulator publishes initial guidelines for interested French operators
The French online gambling regulator ARJEL has wasted no time in moving on the cross-border shared poker liquidity agreements it signed July 6 with Italy, Spain, and Portugal, this week issuing initial guidelines for interested French-licensed online poker operators, who could include Winamax, PokerStars, iPoker and Partypoker.
The regulator warns that the first step will be a thorough review of operators and their activities in France in order to confirm their suitability and capability to participate in the cross-border sharing of players.
Operators will have to show that they are compliant with the regulations in all four of the nations that have agreed to cooperate on the project.
Winamax is certainly interested, and earlier this year revealed that it was looking for additional support staff fluent in Italian Spanish, and Portuguese. Pokerstars is likely to apply as well; it has an international business strategy and licensing in all of the countries that have agreed to share player liquidity. Both clearly have the capability to handle this level of player action.
It is unlikely that the shared player pool project will be implemented this year; experts have estimated that at least six months will be required to organise, set-up and launch the international network.
However, once active and assuming success after the inevitable teething problems have been resolved, the shared network will provide a powerful argument for other EU nations to come on board.